Leaf blowers, other equipment could cause workplace illness

Many people appreciate a well-manicured lawn or other attractive landscaping. Though the look of trimmed grass and shaped hedges may be aesthetically pleasing, achieving this look often means that North Carolina workers in the landscaping industry have to work in various conditions. Additionally, they may also face hazards that could potentially lead to workplace illness.

One man in another state faced health issues due to exposure to exhaust emitted from a gas-powered leaf blower he used during his landscaping duties. The man was apparently in the industry for five years before having to give up his first job due to experiencing migraine headaches nearly every day. He later took a position with a landscaping company that used electric machines, and the headaches subsided.

Though this man’s health issues abated, gas-powered lawn equipment can pose considerable threats to landscape workers. It was noted that there has not been extensive research done in this area, but information that is available indicates that toxic fumes are often emitted from gas-powered machines as well as ultrafine particles that workers may breathe into their lungs. These particles could potentially lead to illnesses such as lung cancer and heart disease or other health issues like asthma.

Though many individuals may not think of landscaping as a business that poses serious health risks to workers, it could lead to workers suffering a workplace illness or injury. If North Carolina workers have become ill due to job-related duties, they may wonder what options they have for addressing the situation. When it comes to potentially obtaining financial assistance, workers’ compensation may be able to help. Therefore, workers may want to gain more information on this option.

Source: heraldsun.com, “Noisy, but that’s not all: Leaf blowers flagged as polluters, possible health threat”, Stuart Silverstein and Anna Boiko-Weyrauch, Sept. 19, 2017

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